HR getting weaker?

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    Topic
  • #36599
    OffKamber
    Participant

    I’ve been training for the last 3 mountaineering seasons by solely carrying a pack uphill. Start in Jan and progress to 1 month before expedition I would carry 65 pounds uphill in a single day with approx. 8000 feet vertical gain.

    This year I decided to follow the mountaineering training schedule as precisely as possible. The only change is that on the longest aerobic day I do an actually hike instead of closely monitored session. Week 1 I did 3900 ft elevation gain (3.8 miles one way). 4 hours up. I carried a 30 pound pack (not intentionally but because it was all the snow and ice gear I needed). My avg HR going up was 141.

    FYI – my AeT (after 2 tests) is 142.

    Next day I did recovery. 30 minutes, 22% incline on treadmill (I have a 40% incline treadmill) and speed of 1.1 MPH. Avg heart rate of 113. (Realized I need to increase incline or speed to get heart rate a bit higher.

    Week 2 I did a weaker hike because I was with a different partner. 30 pound pack, 2800 feet elevation gain, 4 miles one way, 3.5 hours one way. My avg heart rate going up was 160! I honestly felt like I was at AeT or below the whole way but when I checked stats from check HR monitor… it was 160.

    The following day I did a 40 min recovery hike. I was at 16% incline at 1 MPH and my average HR was 121.

    My diet has remained fairly the same throughout the last few weeks. I can’t figure out what may contribute to such a decrease in HR abilities? Or is this normal?

  • Participant
    OffKamber on #36600

    Chest HR monitor*

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #36612

    Have you done a treadmill drift test? If so, what is your AeT HR from the test?

    After three years of almost all high-intensity (the 65# pack), there’s a strong chance you have severe ADS. I hope I’m wrong, but I would start with a drift test to find out where AeT is.

    Also, 22% is pretty steep for a recovery hike, even if it’s slow and at bodyweight. A flattish, rolling run would be much better.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #36613

    And what does this mean? Can you give some more detail?

    The only change is that on the longest aerobic day I do an actually hike instead of closely monitored session.

    Participant
    OffKamber on #36640

    In the 16 week training plan there is usually a long “hike on hilly terrain” once a week. Week 1 was 2 hours, week 2 was 2.5 hours. I have been substituting those with day summits which usually take 6-12 hours (up and down) and I do not closely watch my HR every second, just check up on it every 30-60 minutes. I do record it and analyze it when I get down the mountain.

    Participant
    OffKamber on #36642

    I did two Drift tests prior to starting the program (60 minutes on treadmill at steady pace and incline and analyze first and second half).

    The first one I was about 8% off (not 5), so I did a second one and was only 2% off at 142 AeT.

    Seems I have to do an AnT test based on reading about ADS. I’m fairly certain my AnT will be above 160-165.

    To be clear (based on what I’m reading from: https://uphillathlete.com/diy-anaerobic-test/); the only remedy for ADS is maximize aerobic training solely in Zone 2 and retest every 1-2 months?

    Lastly… I guess I should point this out. I never run or jog. I ran once in the last 4 years or so as a mandatory test for my mountain rescue program. This was about a year ago and based on memory I ran 1.5 miles in about 10 minutes. But I just hate running.

    I enjoy elevation gain and incline. If I am not sweating… I just increase the incline instead of speed. Last year (without a pack) I was doing 4000 feet elevation gain in about 70 minutes. However, I highly doubt I could run 12 minute miles for 70 minutes straight (if I could, I would hate every second of it).

    I am explaining this only because you mentioned my recovery should have less incline and more speed. From reading everything (the book, the plans, and various posts), everything seemed to focus solely on HR. I figured as long as I can get my HR to “X,” it did not matter if I was increasing incline or jogging/running?

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #36706

    I have been substituting [hike on hilly terrain] with day summits which usually take 6-12 hours (up and down) and I do not closely watch my HR every second, just check up on it every 30-60 minutes.

    …at 142 AeT…Seems I have to do an AnT test based on reading about ADS. I’m fairly certain my AnT will be above 160-165.

    If you’re doing long, unmonitored sessions with ADS, then chances are very good that most of those long sessions are spent above AeT. That will only make ADS worse. My first suggestion is to use an HR alarm on your watch and/or reduce the duration until your aerobic capacity has improved. More is not always better.

    the only remedy for ADS is maximize aerobic training solely in Zone 2 and retest every 1-2 months?

    Yes.

    If I am not sweating… I just increase the incline instead of speed.

    Use something more objective, like HR, to measure intensity. You don’t want to sweat your way to worse ADS…

    …you mentioned my recovery should have less incline and more speed.

    No, I didn’t mention speed, just less incline. A lower angled walk is fine too.

    I figured as long as I can get my HR to “X,” it did not matter if I was increasing incline or jogging/running?

    This is a common misconception. Heart rate does not measure intensity; it measures stress. It’s an imperfect tool for sports with variable demands. Different demands could create the same heart rate, but it’s the demand that’s important.

    Heart rate is like the wagging tail of a dog. If a dog wags his tail when eating steak, we can’t conclude that every time he wags his tail he’s eating steak.

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #36827

    Oleg:

    I think Scott Semple has given solid feedback here: You are likely pushing training too much, too hard, too soon.

    I will only add one thing: reduced performance when training consistently always means that your body is not adapting to the training load. This can be due to overreaching, illness or life stress. In your case, based on our phone call, I’d say you are training too much above AeT and maybe even have too high a training volume. I suggest taking a few days off. Then try try the same treadmill hike you’ve done in the past and see if your performance has improved.

    Scott

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